Asparia Blog

Tales from the Front Desk

What Patients Expect – And How Your EHR Can Deliver It

We keep reading about how the digital revolution is changing health care, closing gaps and improving service. Yet one area in the patients’ journey that has yet to be modernized is the interactions managed by the front desk or patient access department. Think about the difference between automatic banking and making a doctor’s appointment. With automatic banking, customers never need to talk to a human, visit a bank or mail a letter. It’s all about the cell phone. Busy customers scan in their checks, view their statements online, e-mail and text when they need information. Contrast this experience with the process of managing communications with health care providers. Patients have to call for appointments when the office is open, which never seems to correspond to the times that are convenient. It’s all too easy to forget those appointments in the heat of dealing with modern life. And it’s definitely way too likely that the reminder cards that try to keep everyone on track, get lost. Being proactive about health care just requires too much effort. It seems logical that patients ought to be able to use their smart phones to automatically conduct the communications they needed with their doctor – appointments, questions, billing issues, preventive screenings. Yet, the majority of patients don’t have that convenience.

Buried Treasure in the EHR

There’s a very important way in which health care communication differ from banking. Medical information can be a matter of life or death, health or illness. That priceless information is stored in the vault known as the electronic health record. How is this intelligence made actionable to improve patient health? Yes, when the patient visits the doctor, that medical history is available on the laptop or tablet. Patients can log into portals to see test results and other information. But where is the link between what the electronic medical record knows, and what the patient should be doing when they are not in the office? For example, patients with chronic illnesses should have regular check-ups and follow specific procedures. People due for vaccines should be notified and appointments set for them to get these shots. Preventive screenings save lives, but many people don’t get them. What if the EHR could reach out, “talk” to that patient, and set up those connections so that the medical recommendations were actually followed? What if the EHR could identify patients who needed screenings for colon cancer, mammograms, flu vaccinations, or preventive check-ups, and tap them with closed loop reminders so that these potentially life-saving tests and connections actually occurred?

Finding the Voice of your EHR

Now, these patient interactions can be handled automatically and consistently for both convenience and better health care. Asparia’s two-way intelligent chatbot is integrated with the EHR and conducts these interactions automatically. If one appointment time doesn’t work, others are proposed and the interaction continues until a decision is made and a time is booked. Asparia’s system identifies and notifies patients who need preventive screenings and check-ups, again ensuring that an appointment is booked and kept. Asparia can even automate the process of asking questions about bills. And, for multilingual populations, these personalized transactions are conducted in over 150 languages. Patients report that they are delighted with the convenience of the Asparia system, and providers are thrilled to achieve consistency in appointment bookings AND to keep patients on track with their health care regimes, to achieve measurably better outcomes and quality of pay-for-performance bonuses. Find out more about Asparia today, at

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